bits and pieces

It’s funny that when I get on my bike this time of the year, I never know if that will be my last ride of the season or not. The warm weather held well into October this year (warm being defined as 55 degrees or higher at 5:00 a.m.) so I had more opportunities to ride, but with travel by me and/or my ground crew, I didn’t always go out when I could have. Now the chill seems to have settled in and I’m resigned to not riding any longer. As a consequence, I took my bike to the shop to have it tuned up and ready for when I hop on it again in the spring. I had missed a spring tune up this year, so the job is overdue. I’ve noticed in the past that when I get on my bike after a tune up, it seems like a different bike altogether. Unfortunately, my legs and lungs will have enjoyed their time away, and my first few rides in the spring will be challenging.

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The image above is one of my round rocks. When these began forming hundreds of millions of years ago, minerals accumulated around a core stone, usually blue slate. When the round rock is broken somehow, the softer core will erode, leaving a bowl shape as above. I took that photo in 2006, and I still come upon that rock when I ramble on that side of the lake (though the acorns I had served in it are long gone). I don’t ramble on that side of the lake now because it’s close to the beaver den, and I don’t want to disturb them and cause them to move away. I am pleased to see that they are finally taking down some of the willows that have been invading the far shore.

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I had stayed in New York from Friday to Friday. My volunteer work at the marathon was on Sunday, so that left me a lot of time to visit with the grands, see their school, walk around their neighborhood, and such. It was just enuf time to start feeling comfortable with the very different way people live in a major city compared to life in Midwestern suburbia.

I did not see any of the touristy sights while in New York. Our days were tied to the grands’ school schedules. Nonetheless, one way I measure the goodness of a trip is whether I came home with more books than when I left, which I did. There are two independent bookstores in my daughter’s neighborhood, and I made a point to buy something from each. When I got home, my accumulated mail (collected by my neighbor) included a package from a friend with a book that he recommended. I’m set for a while.

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Have you read any works by Ursula K. Le Guin? A friend recommended her to me, and while I’ve known of her writing for a long time, I’ve never picked up any of her books. Where should I start?

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I’ve boarded the Pequod for the fourth time. I thought it would be ideal to read on the plane back from NYC, but my eyes seemed to have other ideas and closed for long periods. This reading is being accompanied by a book called Dive Deeper, which gives a chapter-by-chapter critical analysis of Moby-Dick. I had bought Dive Deeper on a trip to Powell’s Books in Portland, and it’s been many years since I was there, so I’ve been hanging on to this book for a long time, waiting to read Moby-Dick again. As with all of Melville (and Conrad and even Hardy), I’ll be satisfied when I’ve finished it, but I will also be done with 19th-Century prose for a while.

Explore posts in the same categories: Ramblings Off Topic

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